Nigeria

Human rights violation should be accounted for – Amnesty

Amnesty International (AI) says human rights violation should not be unaccounted for.

Reacting to the judicial panel set up to investigate alleged human rights violations by the military, Osai Ojigho, director, AI Nigeria, said the commission must be independent and impartial.

On Friday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo set up a commission to investigate the allegations levelled against the military by Amnesty International.

Isa Sanusi, spokesman of the organisation, quoted Ojigho as describing the commission as an opportunity to “finally bring justice to victims of war crimes and other serious human rights violations committed” in parts of the country affected by conflict.

“We, therefore, call on the government to ensure that victims of human rights violations are allowed to present evidence to the commission without fear and with all the necessary protection,” the statement read.

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“We also call on the government to ensure that the commission is independent, impartial and free from any conflict of interest that may affect the integrity of its work. Ensuring that the commission has the resources to carry out its work and making its terms of reference public can bring transparency.

“Investigating compliance of security agencies with rules of engagements in all conflicts, and violation of international humanitarian and human rights law is a step in the right direction that must be carried out with all sense of responsibility of making sure that no human rights violation go unaccounted for.”

AI also said the mandate of the commission to seek ways of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations is a vital step for Nigeria.

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“The government’s priority should be justice, human rights and the dignity of human life in Nigeria,” it added.

“All persons reasonably suspected of committing crimes under international law and other serious violations of human rights on all sides of all conflicts in the country must be brought to justice in fair trials before civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty.”

In June, a panel set up by the Nigerian army had cleared troops of the allegations of extra-judicial killings but AI stood by its report which indicted the military of the alleged crimes.

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